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Counterwill is a psychological term that means instinctive resistance to any sense of coercion.

The term was first used by Austrian psychoanalyst Otto Rank and has been popularized by developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld.[1] In Neufeld's model, counterwill is a functional attribute of human behavior in that it protects personal boundaries and enables individuation. It has also been described as "will in reaction to the will of others".[2]


  1. ^ Gordon Neufield. "Hold On to Your Kids". Random House LLC. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  2. ^ Amundson, Jon (1981). "Will in the Psychology of Otto Rank: A Transpersonal Perspective" (PDF). Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. 13 (2): 113. Retrieved 2 September 2015.